Justin Joque has published a photo that proves that your publishing record now reaches beyond the grave, or – more correctly – on the grave.
Just went for a walk in a cemetery and a guy has a QR code on his grave stone that links to a list of his publications and citation metrics
— Justin Joque (@jjoque) October 10, 2020
Just went for a walk in a cemetery and a guy has a QR code on his grave stone that links to a list of his publications and citation metrics.
He has anonymized the QR code, but here is the grave stone:
In the twitter thread Graeme Wood documents that this is not a new invention per se. Professors have been trying to impress from the other side of the curtain before as well (although without a complete list of publications).
These bickering Yale colleagues are my favorites in the gravestone CV genre pic.twitter.com/fq1dUlB4Mh
— Graeme Wood (@gcaw) October 10, 2020
Theologically speaking, the purpose of adding your list of publications to your grave stone is bewildering. Your career should be over by then. It could be that they believe their publications and citations will improve their chances of getting access to Heaven.
However, if that truly is the case that would mean that St. Peter himself is in trouble. Admittedly, there are two letters published in his name in the New Testament (which has led to an impressive list of citations), but scholars doubt that he wrote them himself. This actually raises the specter of scientific fraud.
Maybe St. Peter is not the one watching the Gates of Heaven, after all, but St. Paul, who has a much more impressive publishing record. Maybe St.Peter is down under, together with all the failed scientists.
If the number of papers in high quality journals does influence your chances of entering heaven, Catholics are in a better position than Protestants. Catholics can spend some time in Purgatory before knocking on Heaven’s door, cleansing their soul and improving their chances. If you spend a couple of hundred years over there, writing papers might bring you above the threshold.
We have reason to believe Elsevier has a monopoly on science publishing in Purgatory, and although most reviewers end up in Hell, there are apparently enough of them around to read these papers. It may take a few hundred years before you get your feedback, though.
Moreover, we are told that grants are not easily available in Purgatory. This is apparently part of the Catholic «purification through suffering» policy.
In any case, all of this brings new meaning to the term «Publish or Perish.»
Per Koch @perkoch
Main photo: Yuri_Arcurs